An Anchor for the Soul
|Genre(s)||Christian Theology, Christian Life|
|Media Type||Print (paperback), Kindle, Audio, CD, Audiobook|
An Anchor for the Soul: Help for the Present, Hope for the Future is a simple, straightforward book by author Ray Pritchard designed to help religious and nonreligious readers alike find out more about who God is and how to have a personal relationship with him. The book strives to provide honest, biblically based answers to people’s questions about God. Each chapter includes study questions at the end to help readers go deeper. More than 500,000 copies of the first edition of the book, published in 2001, are in print. A new edition of An Anchor for the Soul was published by Moody Publishers in 2011.
- 1 Chapter Summaries
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Chapter 1: A Place to Begin
- 1.3 Chapter 2: The Truth about You
- 1.4 Chapter 3: Amazing Grace
- 1.5 Chapter 4: A Man Called Jesus
- 1.6 Chapter 5: It Is Finished
- 1.7 Chapter 6: The Great Exchange
- 1.8 Chapter 7: What Is Saving Faith?
- 1.9 Chapter 8: Coming to Christ
- 1.10 Chapter 9: First Steps in a New Direction
- 2 External Links
The author explains that everything in this book is based on two facts: 1) we were made to know God and personal satisfaction depends on knowing him personally and 2) the Bible tells us how we can know God personally. As a result, the book contains good news that comes from God as revealed in the Bible. He asserts that the book will be helpful no matter where a reader is on a spiritual journey. A desire to know God and an open mind are all that’s needed to discover the truth in the solid answers offered to the honest questions raised in this book.
Chapter 1: A Place to Begin
This chapter is rooted in the belief that knowing God is the most important thing in life—that we were made to know Him, that we need to know Him, and that God desires us to know Him. The author points out that the barrier to knowing God is our sin. Sin separates us from God, and we are left with a deep “Father hunger” that we attempt to satisfy in other ways. However, he argues, God continuously reveals Himself to us so we can find Him. The author ends the chapter with six facts about God, as stated in the Bible, and the conclusion that life is nothing without God.
Chapter 2: The Truth about You
We all agree that the world is a mess, says the author. In this chapter, he shows that the problem with the human race points back to the evil that lurks within each one of us. The author draws on the Bible for its many descriptions of sin and how the actions of Adam, the first sinner, tainted us all, infecting every part of our being with sin. The author notes that we are each responsible for our sin and its consequences, and as a result, we are in big trouble.
Chapter 3: Amazing Grace
In this chapter, the author shows how grace is at the heart of the good news that can change a person’s life. Continuing the sin argument in Chapter 2, the author compares notorious murderer Jeffery Dahmer and Mother Theresa to show that we are all sinners in the eyes of God. Since none of us are righteous, he assets that we all need God’s grace. We need God to give us what we don’t deserve and could never earn—salvation. And all that one needs to do to receive it, states the author, is ask for it.
Chapter 4: A Man Called Jesus
This chapter centers around the question, Who is Jesus Christ? Drawing on passages from the Bible, the author offers seven statements that summarize who Jesus is. Encountering the real Jesus of the Bible and confessing the He is the Son of the living God, says the author, results in sin being forgiven and the weight of guilt lifted from our shoulders.
Chapter 5: It Is Finished
This chapter focuses on the suffering and death of Jesus and why it was necessary to our salvation. The author explores the tension between the truth that God is a God of love and wants to forgive us and that God is a God of holiness who must not and cannot overlook sin. Through Jesus’ blood, he says, God could remain holy and just and still provide a way of forgiveness for guilty sinners. He shows how every sin is paid in full through Christ. There is no good we can do to pay the price.
Chapter 6: The Great Exchange
Building on the Good News from Chapter 5, the author reemphasizes that through Jesus, God pays our sin debt once and for all. God doesn’t want our hard work, the author says, He wants our trust and faith. Taking the argument further, he says that with no marks against us, we are justified, freed, released. And, through several clever illustrations, he shows how we could never be good enough to justify ourselves—that only through trust in Jesus can we be declared righteous by God.
Chapter 7: What Is Saving Faith?
This chapter attempts to answer the question, How do I know when I have truly believed? Through stories, illustrations and scripture, the author shows how true saving faith involves the intellect, the emotions and the will: knowledge, conviction and commitment. He also explains how repentance—a change of heart and mind—and saving faith go together.
Chapter 8: Coming to Christ
According to the author, the gospel is God’s plan for those who aren’t ashamed to admit they need help. And yet, the author notes, so many wait. Urgency in decision making is stressed in this chapter. A review of the gospel, made by summarizing previous chapters, and a definition of the word “Christian” is found here. As is an explanation of how receiving Christ as savior results in becoming a child of God. A prompt to trust Jesus and being a new life is made at the end of this chapter.
Chapter 9: First Steps in a New Direction
Trusting Christ as Savior is not the end of the story, the author asserts, it is only the beginning. In this chapter, the author explores the meaning of the term “born again” and offers some practical tips on how to live the Christian life day by day. These tips are grouped in the following categories: personal assurance, spiritual growth, the church, spiritual disciplines, temptation and sin, your person witness, your attitudes and God’s plan for you. The chapter ends with a seven-day plan for spiritual growth.